The History of Planet X

page: 1
5

log in

join

posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:15 PM
link   
In a hopes to stop the confusion over the use of the term Planet X and the fearmongering th\at goes along with it I have decided to give a brief history of the astronomical use of the term before it was co-opted by the likes of Nancy Lieder and other New Agers to mean a planet of doom. I will state clearly right now that the term Planet X does not refer to a planet that will kill us all. This is a meaning that was picked up by misguided followers of Sitchin after the term had gone out of fashion in the astronomical community. Therefore, any new hypothetical planets in the solar system should not be thought of as Nibiru/Wormwood/etc. even if a MSM article makes reference to Planet X. The official use refers to a completely different celestial body than the New Age use of the term.

Our story begins on the night of September 23 1846. Johann Galle, a German astronomer, has just received a letter from French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. Le Verrier had been interested in the perturbations of Uranus' orbit and using Newtonian mechanics made a prediction for the location of a new planet. Using Le Verrier's prediction, Galle discovered Neptune, right where Le Verrier said it would be. However, this did not entirely solve the problem with the orbits of the gas giants. Therefore, it was hypothesized that another planet must exist beyond Neptune.

In 1848 Jacques Babinet believed he had found a problem in Le Verrier's original calculations. From observation of Neptune, he stated that Le Verrier had overestimated the mass of the new planet and that it's orbit was actually larger than predicted. Based on this he concluded that a planet 12 times the mass of Earth must exist beyond Neptune. He named this hypothesized planet Hyperion. (See astronomers do have a tendency to name planets before their discovery.) For the rest of the century the search was on for anywhere between one to three trans-Neptunian planets. Proposed names include Oceanus, Brahma, and Vishnu.

While the search was proceeding in vain, a wealthy man from Boston named Percvial Lowell, with the help of established astronomer William Pickering, founded Lowell Observatory in Arizona. In 1906 Lowell believed that he had the equipment necessary to find this mystery planet beyond Neptune, which he named Planet X. It is worth noting here that at this time since there were only eight planets in the solar system, X did not stand for the Roman numeral, which is a common misconception. Lowell's first search, which included 200 three-hour exposures turned up nothing, as did his second search in 1915. Despite lack of success, Lowell hypothesized in his memoirs that Planet X was seven times the mass of the Earth, have a mean distance from the sun of 43 AU, and that it would be similar to the gas giants.

At the same time Lowell was performing his search William Pickering was also looking for a trans-Neptunian planet. He named his planet, Planet O. Once again though nothing was found and even Lowell criticized Pickering for his hypothesized planet. Until 1932 Pickering would go on the hypothesize Planets P thru U.

Following the death of Percival Lowell in 1916 Lowell Observatory was caught up in a number of legal battles bringing the search for Planet X to a halt. In 1925 the observatory obtained a new telescope and the search resumed in full in 1929 when Clyde Tombaugh, a farm boy from Kansas, was brought on to resume Lowell's search. In 1930 after working at the observatory Tombaugh made a startling discovery. In a comparison of two images he had taken a few days apart there was apparent motion in an object. A third image confirmed the movement. A new planet had been discovered, Pluto. Amazingly, one of Lowell's predictions for the location of Planet X was only six degrees off from this. Even more amazing Pickering had actually imaged Pluto during his search for Planet O.

The celebration was short lived. Further observation of Pluto indicated that it was much different than what Lowell had predicted. In a telescope, it appeared no different than a star. This meant that it was either very small or very dim. As the 20th century moved on it became more and more apparent that Pluto was in fact very small, with the final nails in the coffin first coming with the discovery that Pluto contained methane ice, meaning it was very bright, and then the discovery of its moon Charon. Therefore, Pluto could not be Lowell's Planet X as it did not have the mass to affect the orbits of the gas giants.

While the search continued following this, most of the hypotheses were met with criticism and failure. Slighthope for its discovery emerged in 1983 when the IRAS observatory declared it had found a number of unknown objects, one of which might be a Jupiter sized planet that might be part of the solar system. This was quickly shown not to be the case however when it was concluded that IRAS had detected nine distant galaxies and an infrared cirrus. The search for Lowell's Planet X finally came to an end in 1989 with Voyager 2's flyby Neptune. It was concluded that Neptune's mass had been overestimated. Using this new mass the JPL concluded that there were no longer any discrepancies in Uranus' orbit, thus there was no longer a need for Planet X.

This has not stopped others from co-opting the name Planet X however. In 1995, Nancy Lieder, a supposed contactee of the Zetas, started her website ZetaTalk. She originally predicted that Comet Hale-Bopp's approach in 1997 was a lie. She claimed that it was not actually approaching and that this was just a cover to keep people distracted from the approaching Planet X. When Hale-Bopp turned out to be one of the brightest and longest observed comets of the 20th century Lieder edited her website to make it appear as if she never said Hale-Bopp didn't exist. Following this Lieder predicted that Planet X would actually approach in 2003. The week before the predicted event, Lieder went on the radio and told listeners to kill their pets and that she had already done so, as well as alluding to having eaten her dogs. When this date passed Lieder claimed it was a lie to fool the establishment. Lieder currently claims that Planet X will return in 2012.

So, looking at the history of the phrase Planet X one can see that it has a long history of being used to refer to a trans-Neptunian object that has an affect on the orbits of the gas giants. It is not until recent years, after the astronomical community has for all intents and purposes abandoned the term, that people have begun associating the term with doom and gloom. So, if you see the term Planet X end up in print do not immediately think of Nancy Lieder's delusions, but instead the legacy of Percival Lowell. During his life all Lowell wanted was scientific recognition, and because of his belief in Planet X we now have a much better understanding of our own solar system thanks to him and the people he inspired.




posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


nice job...
i guess it's easy to get caught up in the hype!

i hope no one ate their pets



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:29 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 03:50 PM
link   
I love ATS because I am free to pick and choose the articles to my interest.

And yes, 2012 along with Fragile Earth are my favorite threads to visit. I am not afraid to read any threads on these topics and never see them as fear mongering.

I would hate to see websites, Youtube, ATS, etc, absent of the 2012 information. It should be made available for anyone who is interested.

I don't quite understand why people read 2012 and then state Fear Mongering.
We are still free in this country to make choices on what to read, watch and listen to.

I am more apt to believe our ancestors than our government/NASA.
Sorry....but that is how I feel.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:06 PM
link   
reply to post by SkunkSense
 


When the claims of 2012 believers are leading to people killing their pets and potentially themselves and their loved ones I see it as a beneficial thing to help allay people's fears by presenting the scientific facts. Also, can you please provide sources for where the ancients claimed the world is going to end in 2012? I keep seeing this claim yet when I ask about it nobody is able to provide me with anything. And yet here we are with the claim still being made.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:24 PM
link   
reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


The internet is so full of scary things! Much scarier than 2012! You cannot stop people from going to these scary sites! If they tend to believe everything they read/hear/see, then they shouldn't be on the net, watch tv or listen to the radio. Maybe Michael Jackson shouldn't have been singing....many people killed themselves after his death. This cannot be stopped....

I never made the claim in my post about the world ending. Nor do I believe the Maya or Hopi said it would be the end of the world.

By the messages ancients left us...whether it be ET and flying ships, and earth changes....these are more true to me than what our government has ever given us. About every ancient civilization has left us messages of sky beings visiting and earth changes.

We are still to this day trying to get the government to tell us we are being visited!



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:59 PM
link   

Originally posted by Xcalibur254
reply to post by SkunkSense
 


When the claims of 2012 believers are leading to people killing their pets and potentially themselves and their loved ones I see it as a beneficial thing to help allay people's fears by presenting the scientific facts. Also, can you please provide sources for where the ancients claimed the world is going to end in 2012? I keep seeing this claim yet when I ask about it nobody is able to provide me with anything. And yet here we are with the claim still being made.


Why are you asking the poster to state where the ancients claimed the world was going to end in 2012? They didn't even state that themselves.....



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 05:43 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 





new topics
 
5

log in

join